Being God

A Context for Understanding Everything

Qaren with a Q

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” ~ Carl Sagan

As she descended the steep wooden stairs to the floating dock below, Qaren Parker glanced up to see if there were any other boats on the dock. This can’t be right, she thought. Moored to the dock was a small, hand-made wooden boat, not the “ferry” she had pictured. Two men were waiting.

The boat was indeed her ride across the river and the two men who built it lovingly named it “The Craft”. They had only recently begun to take passengers and were finding it rewarding to be of such help to people.

Qaren strode across the dock, assessing the situation. She loved boats, but this one was not much larger than a canoe and the wide river was not always calm. Almost aloud she wondered, What have I gotten myself into this time?

She heard the same friendly voice that she had heard on the phone call, “Hi, I’m Peace LJ”. As he bowed, he gestured and added “and this is the ferryman”.

“Qaren with a Q”, she said, “Qaren Parker. So this is the ferry?” She admired the design. Like a canoe, it was pointed on both ends and narrow, but the resemblance ended there. It was fitted for rowing, not paddling. The center was low to the water, but the bow and stern were lifted. It looked more like a small Viking boat but without the dramatic bow ornament.

“Welcome aboard!” Peace held out his hand and assisted Qaren into the stern. She slid comfortably down into the seat which was set low in the craft and form-fitted. She marveled at its one-piece construction and the feeling that she was now one with the craft.

The water at the dock is always calm due to a jutting piece of land that protects it from the wind. But this day, the air was full of energy and Peace pulled out two rain parkas. “You will need this today”, he offered, “the bow spray will carry into the craft”.

As Peace returned to the dock to remove the lines from the cleats, the ferryman, seated in the bow, secured the outer oar to the oarlock. Peace returned to his seat in the center of the craft and pushed off, pointing the bow away from the dock to make room for the other oar. With a deep breath and a long stroke of the oars, the ferryman got them underway.

“I understand you are a grad student in Quantum Physics?” Peace is eager to learn more about it.

“Yes, plus I teach two courses in physics to undergraduates.” A large, cheerful woman, Qaren is both competent and confident in her position. She has a clarity of mind that comes from thinking through things for herself and not following the popular lines of thought as many do. She also has an interest in boats, having been brought up on the river. “Who built the boat?”

“We call it the Craft”, says Peace.

Qaren corrects herself, “The Craft.”

Peace goes on, “The ferryman designed it and told me what to do and showed me how to do it, so we built it together.”

Qaren examines the craft carefully, “Beauty and function!”

Peace says, “Everything the ferryman perceives is beautiful to him. He sees beauty in all of life and creation.”

Qaren says, “What a way to live!”

Eager to start a discussion, Peace cuts to the chase, “Are you a materialist?”

Qaren thought about the question. What is he getting at?

The ferryman speaks up in between strokes on his outbreath, “What is reality to you, Qaren?”

Qaren is quick to reply, “It’s the world as we know it. It’s matter and energy. It’s 3-D. It has 3 dimensions in physical space plus time. Space and time. The material world. That is our reality.”

Peace jumps on this. “So you are a materialist.”

The ferryman ignores the comment from Peace and continues, “But is it the only reality? Some scientists who study quantum physics say it’s not.”

Peace chimes in, “They say reality is weird. Really weird. You have had experiences that cannot be explained, right?

“Right”, Qaren is clear, “I have had my own experiences that suggest that there is more to reality than this material world. But in order to continue to get funding, I do have a strict materialist perspective.”

The ferryman has an idea, “Would you two be interested in a thought experiment?”

“Sure!”, they both reply with interest.

Next, Origin.

The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down. Sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray. At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.” ~ Terence McKenna

1 comment

  1. Hey Clyde,
    I’m looking forward to my experience with “The Context For Understanding.”

    Your title reminds me of treatises with similar titles by Leibniz, Locke and Hume, thus, you’re in exemplary company in my ledger.

    I like the titles of your chapters; I’m partial to single-word titles especially. Two words are good too; I’m partial to the number two, the only even prime.

    Your Servant,

    Gregory Barros

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